Jason Castle who served in the Marines and is now running for Congress in the 5th CD, had a little help from Lady Luck on Friday. He is running in the primary against Teaneck Deputy Mayor Adam Gussen who gained the endorsement of the Democratic Committee of Bergen County (DCBC), led by Lou Stellato, after Castle did not register in time to compete for the endorsement. Nonetheless, in a time-honored ritual on Friday the Bergen County Clerk shook a box over his head and pulled out a slip that read “Bergen County Democrats 2012 (BCD 2012)”. And thus Castle gained the first line on the Bergen ballot, and the DCBC picked up the next line.
Following redistricting more of Bergen County is now in the 9th CD, with the remainder in the 5th CD. BCD 2012 consists of a slate with Rep. Bill Pascrell (running in the 9th CD), two Bergen County Freeholders, and Jason Castle (running in the 5th CD). It’s hard to say how much value there is to Pascrell in getting the first line in a county which has always supported his competitor Representative Steve Rothman with a high vote count. And the second line, where Rep. Rothman appears as the CD 9 candidate, will also include President Obama and U. S. Senator Menendez.
Nonetheless, it should help
3930 year old Jason Castle who is building a coalition of community leaders, party organizers and active citizens across the district in his campaign against the moderate/conservative Gussen. Castle’s recent endorsements include Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D-37) and NFL Hall of Famer Harry Carson. Castle already has the party line for Warren and Sussex County. He also has an active website and facebook page, whereas Gussen has neither. Castle’s campaign staff has confirmed he filed a current quarterly report with the Federal Election Committee although it’s not yet on the website. It’s unclear whether Gussen has likewise filed the report, but his campaign activities appear so far to be insipid.
There will be a debate between the two candidates at Ethical Culture Society in Teaneck next Wednesday at 7:30 sponsored by Bergen Grassroots. (Space can be reserved by calling 201-692-9600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.) Curiously most campaign gatherings for CD 5 in Teaneck take place in the area of CD 9 as the CD 5 area is amost exclusively residential.
The recent activities on the part of Castle place him several steps closer to success in the primary. There remain many steps and a leap for him to be victorious in the November election, but he is showing himself to be spirited, gutsy and lucky.